The Rabid Independent, Nonpartisan solutions, independent policy ideas

In ancient Rome they called it Portorium. As goods poured in and out of Rome a tax was put on the importation of foreign products. Around the time of the American Revolution there were only two sources of government revenue:

  • Taxes on booze
  • Import duties (tariffs).

This was essentially true right up to the 20th century when we made income taxes permanent. Everyone for millennia have plainly understood a simple truth:  One should favor the products made by your neighbor over those produced by someone outside your community or country. I need my neighbor to prosper so he can buy my stuff and I want him to pay taxes towards the school that our children attend and the roads we both use. If he’s gainfully employed, then I don’t need to worry about him having to borrow from me or rob me at the local Seven Eleven.

It’s true – that makes me a bad citizen of the world but I assume that they’ll all act the same way. Take a look at local Mexican or Chinese policies and you’ll see a huge structural preference for locally made goods,  There have been quid pro quo tariffs on all goods traded throughout the world forever until two things changed:

  1. Economists started to argue that we would be richer if we screwed our neighbors and bought stuff from people on the other side of the world (even if they never buy anything we produce).
  2. People started to desperately seek any savings they could get so they abandoned their preference for local products.
  3. Companies stopped worrying about how their ex-employees would be able to buy anything after they fired them en masse. They became the government’s problem. A short term earnings gain matters far more than weak sales far into the future.

Brexit is about to put England back into a position that previous generations would recognize well. Mercedes cars will cost more and domestically made textiles and food will become more competitive. France thinks this is hilarious – Mon Dieu! How backward! France has bought into the idea that massive German and Chinese imports are marvelous and perpetual economic stagnation – no problem. France had a trade balance in 2001 – now it has an 85bn Euro deficit.

Yes I know all those theoretical economists will say there will be huge costs to not getting oceans of cheap junk from China but apparently they haven’t been following the British current account:


Mon Dieu!  One could argue that a drastic measure like Brexit was necessary to save Englishman from their import crazed insanity. All those well to do bankers who must now decamp seemed to be good at only buying foreign goods and going on holiday anywhere but in the UK.

“Free” trade is so profoundly un-free that the USA, like the UK , has become a dumping ground for luxurious Audi’s and tons and tons of Chinese steel. Sadly it’s the biggest economic issue of our day and the message deliverer is a moronic narcissist. The first half of the debate was won by Trump because every sane person sees the logic in his argument. Hillary is and should be embarrassed by the position of her party on this issue. That’s how she acted on stage. It wasn’t until we got into Donald’s crazy tax plan and his record of hypocrisy and racism that Hillary took over.

I can only hope that the sting she felt at the beginning made enough of an impact that it affects her policies when she becomes President.


Let’s pair up the two worst kinds of people in the world – Islamists and Pedophiles. I won’t debate which is worse but the problem is similar:

In the case of Pedophiles we make it a crime for them to look at child pornography in the belief that such behavior may well lead to actual human […]

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Free Some Whistle Blowers!

On September 22, 2016 By

Every few years we get a person willing to sacrifice their life to expose government corruption and fraud. Unfortunately we can list them almost on one hand:

Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) Mark Felt (Deep Throat) Karen Silkwood (Nuclear plant safety) Jeffrey Sterling Joseph Wilson (“What I didn’t find in Africa”) Russ Tice Chelsea […]

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The economic data are becoming clearer:

Productivity growth has completely stalled (much of it was based on fictional benefits from import substitution). Population growth is diminimus. Government stimulus is static. The budget deficit is sitting at $600bn – is that OK? Private and public sector investments are dead. Corporations are just buying back stock and […]

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There are a few major policy issues that get me worked up and when I see a new set of cases that should test my opponents then I want to hear what they have to say. Media interviewers never seem to ask the right questions so I’ll ask them here and maybe they’ll hear me.


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Party vs. Principle

On September 2, 2016 By

One of the great mysteries to me about the history of Germany circa WWII is how the officers of the army and the bureaucrats in the government stuck with party policy even after it went off the rails. There seemed to be no point where senior (previously) responsible leaders stood up collectively and said “You […]

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There are certain things in life that are set up to make you feel like a fool or as though your time is being utterly wasted. Many of them you can’t avoid even you if try your hardest. This is my list (if you have any favorites then let me know):

Being forced to watch ads before […]

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There are a group of men who have written books over the last twelve years devoted to exposing religion as magical thinking. They include:

Christopher Hitchens (R.I.P.) Richard Dawkins Sam Harris Michael Shermer Bart Ehrman Daniel Dennet

There are other notables like Douglas Murray, Lawrence Krauss, and Maajid Nawaz (who is trying to lead an […]

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Liberalism Betrayed

On July 28, 2016 By

What does it mean to declare you are a liberal? Are you open minded, sympathetic to the less unfortunate, willing to listen to reason over myth and superstition? I want to be considered liberal in these ways. The Democrats are supposed to be the party of liberalism but it or its constituents are twisting some […]

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I seem to be condemned in perpetuity to listen to social chatter along the lines of – “Can you believe the price of condo prices in Manhattan?!” The same line starts many conversations in San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and London. It’s sort of half amazement and half celebration as though we can take pride that […]

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Here’s my list of things that bug me. Some are big and some are petty. Feel free to offer new additions.


Mottos, Creeds, Rules

As we search for legitimate solutions to America’s problems everyone must obey these rules or we’ll never get anything done.

Mottos, Creeds and Rules

Reading List